September 21, 2009

Pink lining

Filed under:Epic disaster,Lace,Works In Progress — Aileen @ 10:54

Knitting has been going horribly, horribly wrong lately. I finished my green tshirt – the one where I knit the sleeves separately and sewed in the sleeve cap. Disastrous. Unpicked all the sewing and reknit the sleeves. Sewed them back in. Still disastrous. I’m not sure if I should knit the sleeves from the armhole down like I usually do or just set fire to the garment and deny it ever existed.

Then there are the mittens. My beautiful, beautiful mittens.

…Which would look fabulous if I had salad tongs for hands. I haven’t even gotten close to the shaping at the tip of the mitten and it is already an inch too long. It is obviously a gauge problem but compounding this problem is the fact that I have mislaid my mitten DPN set.

And then there’s the red Miniamlist Cardigan. Notice anything askew?

Anything like the difference between the right front and the left front maybe? I’m not sure how I could get 25cm into a garment and not notice that the right front was missing 20 stitches – that’s four inches to you and I.

And then there’s Veronique… which looks nothing like the picture. Nothing. It is an unphotographable blob. My mum seemed to be able to mould it into some sort of wearable shape so I’m going to give it one last chance and redo the cast off. If it doesn’t work I am definitely setting fire to it… if only to warn the other knitting. This is getting ridiculous.

Anyway, this (rather large depressing) cloud does have a pink lining in the shape of a Fountain Pen Shawl from Interweave Spring 2009.

The yarn is hot pink Malabrigo Merino Lace that I picked up in Germany. It is the first Malabrigo I have tried and so far, it is doing a good job making up for all that mess above. It is soft, light and airy but still working into a decent fabric on 4mm needles. I think it will go really well with my purple jacket! Sigh.

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September 16, 2009

Fie, fye, foe, fum!

Filed under:Photography,Travel — Aileen @ 13:35

Last weekend, because the weather was set to be fine for a few days, we headed up north to visit Newry, Belfast and the Giant’s Causeway. Legend has it that Fionn MacCumhaill built the causeway as a bridge to Scotland to battle his foe, Benandonner. He fell asleep before he got to Scotland and when he didn’t arrive, Benandonner came looking for him. Úna, Fionn’s wife, covered him up with a blanket and pretended he was their baby. When Benandonner saw the size of the ‘baby’ he figured that the father must gigantic indeed and fled back to Scotland, ripping up the causeway behind him. Personally I am more of the opinion that it is an unusual rock formation from the Paleogene period which, unfortunately, doesn’t sound nearly as exciting.

Lava that cools very quickly forms the basalt columns and here they have between four and eight sides. I think this is to do with the way a cooling liquid cracks when it contracts – cracks form at angles to each other. What really amused me was how precise the cracks were. Each column has a uniform space between it and the next one and they genuinely look like they were cut by a machine.

Interestingly, the formation of columns was not restricted to the seashore. Columns could be seen on the cliff sides, too.

Although this formation is unique to Ireland, it occurs frequently in other places, including Fingal’s Cave in Scotland (inspiration for a Mendelssohn piece I think! Probably also known as the Hebrides Overture). Anyway, we enjoyed ourselves there and as you can see, got cracking weather for the trip. No photos from Belfast as I was too busy shopping but what I saw of the city truly warrants another visit some time. It is unlike any other city I’ve visited in the country; there is a marked difference in architecture. The north east coast from Belfast to Portstewart was a beautifully scenic drive with amazing views of Scotland. Despite some scary uber-orange and uber-republican towns (both extremes are equally scary to me!) everywhere else was really relaxed and everyone we met was very friendly, much more so than ‘down south’, as they say.

It was great to get away, especially since I start college tomorrow. I feel refreshed and eager to move on and try new things. I suppose this will mean me coming home tomorrow with a trombone concerto to learn! On other fronts I have been swatching…

…and I have some sewing plans.

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September 11, 2009

Not much to show…

Filed under:Crochet,Music,Works In Progress — Aileen @ 13:03

…but something to tell. I’ve been pretty busy this week getting ready for my audition and putting off getting ready for my audition. This is what I was doing whilst putting things off.

Yup, another hand towel. I told you I had a lot of that cotton! It is so nice to work with and the pattern, like I said, is easy without being too mindless.

That’s all I have to show for now but I can tell you that as of next Thursday, I am a college student again! I am very excited. The course is a masters in piano accompaniment so there will be lots of playing as well as research…and knitting, of course.

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September 8, 2009

FO – Handtowel #1

Filed under:Crochet,Finished Objects — Aileen @ 11:28

I knit a green sleeve up to the armhole and 45cm of blue sleeve and then I gave up. I couldn’t take it any more. But of course you can’t just do nothing, so I made one of these instead.

crochet handtowel towel cotton

Pattern: Cotton Dishcloths from the LionBrand website. I think you might have to join up to access the pattern and all their other free patterns but it is free.

Needle: 3mm hook.

Yarn: Wendy Supreme Luxury Cotton 4-ply. I bought a lot of this with the intention of making a crocheted skirt. However when I got home I realised that not only was it the wrong weight, but that I have also lost the book that the pattern is in. I think I might have lent the book to someone but I’m not sure. If I lent you my Happy Hooker book, could you let me know?!

Anyway, the yarn is really nice to work with – very smooth and soft – and I think I will make a matching set to use up my contrasting colours.

handtowel dishcloth cotton crochet shale

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September 6, 2009

Sleeve Island

Filed under:Cycling,Mittens,Sleeves,Works In Progress — Aileen @ 12:32

You think one sleeve is bad? Try these on for size.

Horrendous. The green is for a very simple henley top that I finished the body for about four months ago. Something got into my head that it would not only be a good idea, but a GREAT idea, to knit bottom up sleeves and then sew the cap in! Oh my God! Now I have one sleeve with a wonky cap and half a sleeve that doesn’t know whether it’s coming or going.

The blue is simple… 45cm of stocking stitch. And when I get to the end of that, it’ll be once more with feeling. The blue-green is also simple… 35cm of stocking stitch. The latter is Veronique which I should have finished off weeks ago but was tripped up by my own laziness. When the time came to provisionally cast on what was to become the front, I was watching or listening to something very exciting and I just made a cable cast on. Of course, if I had been paying attention I would have realised that when I later came to pick up that cast on to knit on the sleeves, this was going to cause me problems. After a few goes I managed to pick up my stitches without leaving holes – but now I have a lovely purl ridge, instead. I am hoping that I can tease this into shape. Why is it that three different garments started at three completely different times all end up needing sleeves at the exact same time?

Luckily there is mitten knitting to maintain my slowly-eroding sanity.

Isn’t it pretty? Every time I finish a butterfly, I look at it and imagine that our summer has been so glorious and so full of butterflies that I simply had to knit a pair of mittens to capture said glory. In truth it is filling the depressing deficit of butterflies and all sun-related creatures. At least the thumb and palm are tidy.

Speaking of weather, it has become very autumnal around here lately with daily highs now only up to about 15 or 17 degrees. Often we get very fine, settled weather this time of the year but so far it has been changeable and downright bad-tempered. I got my bike tuned up yesterday and was hoping to go for a spin today but so far, it doesn’t look promising. Maybe I will take my sleeves and go cycle on the spot at the gym. It’s definitely not the same but if I’m going to do a tedious activity, I might as well do two tedious activities at the same time. (Unrelated but I was very happy to see my local bike shop very busy yesterday – two guys bringing in bikes and another bringing in a wheel. If the recession can bring in more bike riding then it won’t be all bad!)

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